In the Czech Republic1 and in neighbouring European countries, greyhounds live 12 to 13 years. In Ireland, it is in average 3 to 4 years. Part of them have even less time to be assessed. We are talking about racing greyhounds. Why so young, you ask? Are they in trouble because of nasty diseases, perhaps? No, they are not sick, on the contrary, irish blood is considered high quality world class. What is bothering them are people, hence the position of the majority2 of the society towards these noble dogs. According to legislation, there are unfortunately equated to farm animals.
And how do you imagine it all in practice:
1. litter of puppies
- number of 6-8 individuals
- they are registered in the stud book
- they remain with the breeder at the kennel
- they usually have good care, without this thay can not grow in potentially high-quality individuals
- period: about 1 year of life
- some of the puppies are sold at this time, to the future owners
2. young dogs, “SAPLINGS”
- approx. age 12-14 months
- time o the hard differentiation
- they begin to practice, first trials
- some of them will not succeed for various reasons, they are removed3
- “Better ones”, faster and smarter get right to move on in the next life stage
- usually they have a lot of excercises
- usually have a good care
- age about 2-4 years
- they receive a racing license
- some of them are sold at this time to the other owners (A part of them goes through the canal to Great Britain.)
- they are in training
- usually have good care,without this they can not give a satisfactory performance
- a handful of the thousands of dogs involved becomes champions of the season
4. EX-RACING GREYHOUNDS
- age 3-4 years
- they don’t train any more, usually have no excercises
- they do not compete
- part o them, because of previous successes on the track, qualifies for breeding = qualify for the next few years of life, this part is a very small percentage of the whole lot
So what about the others?
They served out and they are not needed. But they will not end up like a pet. In Ireland this is reserved for other races. Their ends are very, very sad. Some die in the facilities called dog pound. (They have reserved five days of life in there, when found. If the dog is handed over into the facility by his owner, it may be killed immediately without the waiting period.). Others are put on waiting list of one of the few shelters in Ireland, but virtually there is no place for them. And because the waiting list is very long, it causes some owners loosing patience during the wait ing time and the dogs are removed3.
A large part of the owners of these dogs will not even sign them for any waiting list (there is not a law that would have commanded to do so)... they often end up as the property of ethnic groups living in Ireland a nomadic way of life.
Greyhound in the UK are doing a little bit better. They can not be just removed3. The law here do not allow just to discard a greyhound, which doesn’t work for his owner. For the subsequent fate of the retired racing greyhound is fully responsible his last owner, and that’s good. They started the enlightenment earlier in the UK and the people there have had partially accepted the fact: greyhound is not just “such a dog that runs fast”, but intelligent aristocrat with a gentle nature and a wonderful companion. There was built up an extensive network of shelters. They are full of sad, greyhound eyes that are waiting...
After about 35 British race tracks annually produces several thousand of veterans.
But there is not enough available homes. Not that much.
Adoption... It is a word that you know in many different contexts. Adoption is also an international response to the “young dead”, and those sad eyes.
We know that response is necessary to look for primarily in the countries concerned.
We know also that it will come... over the time. Even local people are slowly beginning to understand and changes are slowly starting to happen. But just as a tree doesn’t grow over the night, changes in thinking and altering the point of view are happening slowly. Sometimes it takes an entire generation. And there is often impetus from outside necessary.
We are not far away and fortunately the only organization in Europe, which is concerning about this matter. We do not want and can not wait until the countries can “solve their problems alone.”
There is no time for these beautiful eyes, which currently waiting for the the verdict. Conversely, the time they have meted by someone is frighteningly short. And meanwhile there are born, grow up and are being “retired” still very much of this beautiful Longlegs. From those numbers we freeze. We do not want thousands of greyhounds to die because of the misconfigured system. They can not defend themselves.
We want to help them and they need our help.
And you, dear friends? Do you have a bit more space in the heart and on your couch?
As pets are very space-saving, as we can guarantee it.
1 We would like to emphasize that the described problems are relating to the situation in Ireland and Great Britain. In our geographical conditions, is the breeding of greyhounds as well as their racing very different. It is a leisure activity, run by lovers of this breed. We fully respect these people, we are open to dialogue and, ultimately, we are pleased that we have friends among greyhound people, who are our fans and are helping us and support us every way. Thank you!
2 Of course also in Ireland there are people, who deeply love greyhounds. Whether the people from the PAWS organization, people from the Racing Federation or local breeders and trainers, who are helping us, we really appreciate each one of them and the activities they undertake to improve the overall situation. We believe that their number will extend gradually.
3 The term means the destruction, pts or else.
Looking for Homes
How to care for